It's hard to tell just who de Blob's target audience and market really is. In a world where Banjo Kazooie is old enough to drive and only Mario and Rayman have a chance of appealing to a wide audience, I fear de Blob may be viewed as a kids game based upon an obscure childrenís television show and nothing more. What lies beneath the colourful, funky style though is a slick and enjoyable 3D platformer thatís biggest failing is an inability to appeal to an older audience.
The premise is simple. In a world robbed of itís colour by the evil I.N.K.T. Corporation you play as de Blob who along with several allies is on a mission to bring life and colour back to Chroma City and bring about a colour revolution. To do so youíll be thrown into 10 different locations and tasked with painting the monochrome, grey environments a delightful array of colours as well as taking on objectives and challenges set to you by your fellow revolutionaries.
In order to redecorate the drab, grey scenery de Blob has the ability to suck up colour for one of the many wandering paint pots that are scattered all throughout the environments. Now, with some colour in your cheeks, you will repaint anything that you touch or come in contact with and transform the once dull dťcor into a snazzy, jazzy styling.
The puzzles and challenges themselves however are very basic and simplistic and require minimum thought for completion. Also the timer that counts down your impending doom never seems to fall worrying low and I always plentiful amounts of time built up and store by the end of the level. When blasting through the main game your not going to struggle to finish any given level, which is understandable due the child friendly nature of the game.
The real challenge of de Blob though comes from achieving the medals that are rewarded at the end of each stage. Paint every object, tag every billboard, find every collectible, the tasks may seem simple but the attainment of all of the medals adds a vast amount of replayability to the game. Upon completion of any main level youíll also be awarded two bonus stages that are one off challenges that take no more than two minutes to complete but can take upwards of half an hour to perfect. Aside from the addition of one more gold medal to obtain youíll unlock various concept artwork and videos for finishing them and they serve as the perfect break from the largely repetitive gameplay of the main game.
The game isnít without its flaws though the most pressing of which I found to be the lack of any clear direction and guidance as to where to go and what to do within the main game. With your progression through the level halted until you have completed a specific challenge, it baffles me that the game does not tell you that you cannot progress until you have completed said objective. Itís as if the game expects you to complete ever challenge you encounter but when a level can consist of upwards of 30 or 40 challenges the game should at least indicate that this one specific challenge is mandatory to your further progression through the game. There were also times when I found myself getting lost, unable to find the gate I needed to open to allow me to continue onto the next part of the level, an issue that could have been avoided if the in game compass pointed to any unopened gates. Finally thereís the camera, which can mischievously position itself in the most unhelpful of places and then fail to reposition itself behind the player upon command of it to do so.
But these are only minor gripes which do not detract from the fun and enjoyment thatís to be had with de Blob. It may not be perfect in itís execution but the concept is original and endearing enough that I can easily recommend de Blob to you as a solid platformer.
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